Picks and Pans Review: Outward Bound
Louisiana native Landreth is known primarily as a slide guitar—playing sideman for John Hiatt, John Mayall and others. His solo debut confirms his six-string proficiency—listen to the head-spinning instrumental "Yokamoma." It also indicates that Landreth is a lot more than just another Gregg Allman wannabe.
First there's the surprise of his voice: a winning wiry tenor. And Landreth knows how to mix the electric with the acoustic, as he does on "Soldier of Fortune," which opens with an amplified section that shimmers like heat rising off asphalt before giving way to an intricate finger-picked melody that recalls Mississippi John Hurt.
Landreth's regional roots show on the zydeco stomp of "Common Law Love" and the bandy-legged boogie of "Back to Bayou Têche." The guitarist is also adept at more universal pop idioms. His balladeering can be spirited ("When You're Away"), dreamy ("Sacred Ground") or wistful ("Planet Cannonball"). But it's when Landreth sprinkles some indigenous Louisiana spice over his songs that this record really sizzles. (Zoo/Praxis)